How cool was it when Duncan L. Hunter ran for president and we had a San Diegan on the presidential ballot?
Way cool, even if he consistently came in last place, dropped out early on and then retired from politics. At least one local resident had the gumption to give it a go.
This year, you too can run for president. Tonight at El Take It Easy (3926 30th St., North Park), CityBeat is throwing an event to help qualified San Diegans get on the ballot in Arizona. Just bring your I.D.
It turns out that Arizona election law makes it extremely simple to get your name on the Feb. 28 presidential primary ballot. All you have to do is send in a notarized form—and we're providing the notary public, Sara Honadle of Coast Law Group. One catch: There will be no Democratic primary election, so you can only run on the Republican side. However, you do not need to be a Republican.
(A quick reminder of the qualifications: "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.")
In 2008, our friends at Tucson Weekly launched a "reality journalism" competition called Project White House. They recruited 24 candidates for the ballot who also competed for the newspaper's endorsement. One candidate earned more votes than Mike Gravel—and Gravel was actually included in national debates. (Of course it helped that the Project White House candidate's name was Sandy Whitehouse and she randomly drew the top spot on the ballot).
This year, Tucson Weekly's doing it again and we encourage you to compete in Project White House. You can read more about that here.
Our Facebook event page has more details and perhaps a bit of controversy. Lorena Gonzalez of the Labor Council, enemy number one of the San Diego County Republican Party, says she'll run on the Republican ballot.
Official press release from the Tucson Weekly below:
Run for President in Arizona With The Help of Project White House!
Tucson Weekly Sponsors Reality Journalism Competition in Conjunction with Arizona Presidential Primary
Contact: Jim Nintzel, senior writer, Tucson Weekly
(520) 360 9364
Have you ever thought of running for president? The Tucson Weekly is ready to help you make your dream come true.
Tucson Weekly is sponsoring Project White House 2102, the paper's second foray into a “reality journalism” competition that allows ordinary—and extraordinary—United States citizens to seek the presidency of the United States.
“As a fierce advocate of democracy, Tucson Weekly is delighted to give ordinary citizens a chance to participate in the electoral process,” said Jim Nintzel, the paper’s senior writer.
Beginning today, all a freedom-loving American has to do to become a Project White House contestant—and secure an actual spot on Arizona Feb. 28 presidential primary ballot—is fill out a two-page form, have it notarized, and send it to the Tucson Weekly or the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. Arizona requires no nominating signatures, no ballot fees and no birth certificate to land a spot on the Feb. 28 ballot.
Candidates will campaign via YouTube, the Project White House blog, FaceBook and other social media outlets. The grand prize for the best candidate is Tucson Weekly's coveted presidential primary endorsement.
In 2008, when Tucson Weekly sponsored the first Project White House, half of the 48 candidates on the Arizona presidential primary ballot participated in Project White House. One candidate, Democrat Sandy Whitehouse, captured more votes than former Alaskan Sen. Mike Gravel.
This year, Arizona Democrats have withdrawn from the presidential primary, so candidates seeking the White House will have to run on the Republican ticket. But candidates do not have to be registered Republicans to appear on the Republican ballot.
“It appears Arizona Democrats may have been worried that President Barack Obama could have been upstaged by a dark-horse, Project White House candidate in Arizona,” said Nintzel. “But people still have a chance to run as Republicans—and judging from the polls, GOP voters remain unhappy with the choices that they have, so this is a chance for fresh faces to win the hearts and minds of the nation.”
Project White House is open to any U.S. citizen born in the United States older than 35 who has lived in the United States for the last 14 years.
The filing period with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office is Tuesday, Dec. 20 through Monday, Jan. 9.
Full details are available at ProjectWhiteHouse2012.com.
For more information contact Jim Nintzel at 520-360-9364 or e-mail ProjectWhiteHouse@tucsonweekly.com.
Mail nominations forms and campaign information to Tucson Weekly
P.O. Box 27087, Tucson AZ 85726-7087
Or mail nomination forms to the Arizona Secretary of State
1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007